A Stuffed Fox In A Rouge Box

Original Photo from Manchester Museum
A stuffed Fox in a Rouge Box,
surfing through back-yards and tufts of grass—
like big kahuna waves, bold as brass!
Rummaging for meat that’s crass.
Plastic and elastic fill the interior space where life
once belonged, soul sent to the afterlife
by the clinical slices from a taxidermist’s knife:

Stuffing, wire, and its killer’s strife.
Frozen upright, pose chosen by the taxidermist—
   That it’ll be a laugh, if the stuffed fox were dropped mid-flight
   into a skiing Rouge Box on top of white!
Why? Because why not? After all, the thing was shot out of sight.
Snotty-nosed brats love the Fox,
gawping as it flies in an old medical box,
noses flat against the glass, with bomb-site nostrils
smearing snot on the Fox and his Rouge Box.
I wonder that, if it had all its jelly still inside, 
would it give a damn
about being crammed like sardines in a can?
His scream echoing through the museum, 
Like a voice screaming in a crypt?

© Thomas Gallimore Barker, 2021


This small number is from the archives, gathering the proverbial dust for nearly a year. Its origins isn’t as quite as extravagant as most of the others in my collection: It came to be as a ‘semi-tongue in cheek’ observation of seeing, quite literally, a stuffed fox standing in a (French Medical) rouge box; within a glass display case in The Manchester Museum, that I saw during a laid-back outing in my first year studying Creative Writing at Man Met Uni.

But, perhaps, despite the comical tone of the poem, there might be a more serious and ominous conceit at play…

What do you think of this poem? Let me know in the comments below, or by liking this poem. Don’t be afraid of sharing your opinions!


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